Today I am unashamedly procrastinating. I’m posting photos, writing poetry, polishing fairy stories and a whole collection of Norse/Saxon stories and playing with the design for a cover. Anything rather than finish the last part of volume two of ‘Ys’.
At the beginning of October I got back into writing the the second volume of my epic saga of alternate ninth century Norse folk, Celts and…others and I decided I really had to do something with the first volume. Self-publishing is not my favourite option, vying for last place with the plethora of small publishers who publish, forget, and pass onto the next good idea that might make their fortune. Like most writers, I’m holding out for a six-figure advance from a big publisher. Like most writers, I’m not holding my breath though. To hit the jackpot, you need an agent, and not getting an agent is one thing I’m extremely good at. I’ve gone through the phase of self-doubt, assuming it’s because my writing is just not up to snuff, and although I’m still bewildered at the deafening silence that always meets my queries, it hasn’t stopped me ploughing ahead and giving the query process another whirl.
Well, fuck me sideways, as they say in polite circles (not), but I’ve never had such speedy rejections. It’s a sort of whiplash effect. Within hours of sending them out, they ping back with a ‘no thanks’. Some are obviously never going to come back at all. I can imagine furrowed brows, then the eyes glazing over, and the finger clicking the delete button. I’ve had one nice, complimentary and encouraging reply but still a ‘no thanks, I don’t want to read it’.
It’s a shame because now that I’m at the 100k mark of the second volume, I’m slowing down. The end is in sight, and then what? Do I plunge into volume three, with the rejections for volume one whistling past my ears? Is this a sign that what I write is just so ‘out west’ as we say here, that nobody is going to touch it with a ten foot pole? It’s possible. It isn’t hope that’s driving me any longer; it’s the same sort of dogged determination that got me through fraught pregnancies in appalling working conditions, moving house with four under sevens, a new born baby and the start of a debilitating medical condition, and even now, getting up four times in the night, in the freezing cold, with a migraine, to put the blanket back on…the dog…
So, I will get back to my odd-eyed heroes, my fishmen, sea wolves and flashy Celts, seabeasts and krakens, snekkjas and curraghs, raths and fastnesses, seerlore and piseog, shape shifters and draugar. I’m the only one who can sort out the mess, after all.